BREVARD COUNTY – For many families, going back to school also means going back to dance – an extracurricular activity that has long been known as one of the most popular for children and teens.
And as Brevard’s population continues to grow, so does the number and range of dance-related opportunities, including classes for adults.
Regardless of age, residents will find an abundance of classes, as well as performances that are open to the public, as summer ends and the academic year progresses.
“Every summer there are big changes,” noted Melbourne Dancewear's owner, Kitty Hatton. “It’s a time when a lot of studios close, and there’s a lot of restructuring and opening of new locations.”
Here are several locations where Brevard residents can find dance classes to suit their needs. While many of the venues have similar qualities, each has something unique to offer.
This non-exhaustive list covers Titusville to Suntree.
Dussich Dance Studio: 125 Imperial St., Merritt Island; www.dussich.com. Open house: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 17.
Established in 1958, Dussich is likely the longest-running studio of its kind in Florida and aims to provide a family-oriented setting.
The studio’s class list currently includes preschool, combo, creative movement, ballet, pointe, tap, jazz, acro, hip-hop, lyrical and contemporary. Adult ballet, tap, social dance and heels classes are also available.
Dussich operates a company, Imperial Dance Corps, and a competition team. Students will perform “La Fiesta de Dance” Oct. 12 and a December Christmas show, both at Our Saviour Catholic Church in Cocoa Beach. The company’s charity benefit show will be held in March at Merritt Island High.
The studio is welcoming several new teachers this year, including former New York City Ballet member Ethan Fuller. Interactive online master classes from the CLI Studios program will also be offered.
Encore Dance Academy: www.encoredanceacademy.biz.
Encore Dance Academy is set to open in Merritt Island this fall with three spacious rooms and all new flooring, sound equipment and more.
The academy will offer ballet, pointe, jazz, theater jazz, acro, tap, hip-hop, musical theater and lyrical classes for children and teens, and expects to add adult ballet, tap and Zumba classes shortly after opening.
Students will have opportunities to perform with the Encore Performance Company and audition to compete with the Encore Competition Team.
Galmont Ballet: 5575 Schenck Ave., Ste. 11, Rockledge; www.galmontballet.com.
Dedicated to the education of classical ballet, Galmont offers pre-ballet, ballet, pointe, contemporary, jazz, modern and body conditioning classes for children and teens.
While the Galmont Youth Ballet Company performs several times throughout the year, the school’s most well-known production is perhaps its annual “The Nutcracker,” which features an American twist and is set to ballet master Frank Galvez’s choreography.
In celebration of the show’s 25th anniversary, “The Nutcracker” will feature several elements of surprise when it runs Dec. 20-22 at the Historic Cocoa Village Playhouse, where Galmont has been the resident ballet company since 2008. Auditions will be held Saturday, Aug. 17. Check the studio’s website for details.
Titusville Ballet and Jazz Center: 3550 S. Washington Ave., Titusville; www.TitusvilleBalletandJazzCenter.com. Open House: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Aug.10.
The center’s four dance rooms and two gymnastics facilities provide an abundance of space for students to learn gymnastics, baton, cheerleading, karate, ballet, pointe, lyrical, jazz and hip-hop.
Tiny Tumblers and pre-dance classes are available for the youngest students, while classes in karate and PiYo – yoga pilates fusion – are offered for adults. PiYo is held once a month at no cost to attendees.
The center offers the following competitive teams: Keegan Performance dance team, Keegan Allstars Cheerleading, Titusville Gymnastics and Infinity Twirlers.
Ultimate Dance Florida: UDF North, 3270 Suntree Blvd., Ste. 1113; UDF South, 1320 Culver Drive NE, Palm Bay. Open house dates: UDF North: 10 a.m. to noon Aug. 10, 5-7 p.m. Aug. 14, 1-3 p.m. Aug. 17; UDF South: 1-3 p.m. Aug. 10, 5-7 p.m. Aug. 15, 10 a.m. to noon Aug. 17.
Along with an emphasis on teamwork, cooperation, family and work ethic, Ultimate dance uses the American Ballet Theatre system and Top Gun technique and conditioning program to provide a strong dance foundation.
Children and teens may select from ballet, lyrical, pointe, acro, tap, jazz, contemporary and hip-hop classes. Tiny Tots and combo classes are also available.
Several new teachers will join Ultimate Dance this year in updated spaces featuring new paint, flooring and more.
The UDF Powerhouse Dance Team is the studio’s competition team.